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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  September 13, 2010 10:00am-12:00pm EDT

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country. thanks for joining us on "washington journal" and will be back tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern half to take your calls. . >> happening right now on c-span 2, the impeachment trial of louisiana federal judge thomas porteus accused of taking bribes. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] senators are considering a judicial nomination before resuming debate on a small
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weekend, every weekend on cspan 3. >> 50 years ago this month, a group of young conservatives signed a list of principles that many see as the start of the modern conservative movement for it on friday, the young american foundation founded -- met. i would like everyone to take their seats. good afternoon. good afternoon.
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i am roger reem, i am the president of the fund for american studies. we come together today and tomorrow to mark the 50th anniversary of a very important event in american political history, a meeting that was held at great elm and sharon, conn. on the estate of the buckwheat family that led to the writing of the shower and a statement, a great document of conservative principles, the creation of young americans for freedom and the modern conservative youth movement. we have two excellent palace this afternoon that will look both at the influence of the events of 1960 and the rise of the modern conservative movement as well as where we are today and the future of freedom,
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free enterprise, and a strong america. i am not going to take time to do much other than introduce the chairman of this session and one of the panelists, wayne thorburn, the author of a great new history of the events we are commemorating this week and a generation awakes, young americans for freedom and the creation of the conservative movement. all of our guests at dinner tonight will receive a copy of this new book that was just out one month ago. it was published by jameson books. i recommend it. wayne is a professor, someone who has served in both the reagan and bush administrations. he yells from austin, texas and will be chairing hour session this afternoon. please welcome when thorburn. [applause]
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>> thank you very much and thank you for coming today and thanks to cspan for covering this afternoon's events. we hope that both you in the audience and those at home will find as informative in terms of perhaps a better understanding of the contemporary conservative movement and the roots from which it grew. as roger said, 50 years ago this very weekend, a group of slightly under 100 young people all in either their teens or 20s, gathered together at the family home of jim and bill buckley in sharon, conn. and they came away from that meeting with two very significant accomplishments. first of all, they agreed on a basic collection of principles that is referred to as the sharon's statement. one individual looking at that
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document a few years later had this to say about the significance of the sharon statement. nowhere else for many years did anyone attempt so succinctly and comprehensively, let alone so successfully, to describe what modern american conservatism was all about. even today, people refer back to this simple document known as the sharon statement and its lasting principles that are applicable to understanding contemporary conservatism. the second accomplishment that came out of that weekend was the formation of a permanent organization of young conservatives. in many ways, that was the first grass-roots responsible conservative organization to develop. it developed in 1960 at a time when american society was quite different than the society we find ourselves in in 2010 where
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the challenges internationally and the challenges domestically were quite different than what we now confront. since that meeting in 1960, literally thousands if not hundreds of thousands of young conservatives have passed through young americans for freedom and developed into the leaders of the conservative movement that exists in the 21st century. i should say the conservative and libertarian movement that has developed in the 21st century. --ay's panel will look at look back and reflect at efforts of that meeting and we are pleased to have told the panels who were present at the creation in 1960 in sharon, conn.. the first palace you hear from his doctor lee edwards, who is
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the distinguished fellow in conservative thought at the heritage institution -- the heritage foundation. he is a leading historian of the american conservative movement. he is the author of over 20 books including biographies of ronald reagan, barry goldwater, and edwin meese. , as well as histories of many organizations and the conservative movement. he also serves as chairman of the victims of communism memorial foundation which was dedicated in washington d.c. in 2007 and launched its online global museum on communism in 2009. he lives with his wife ann in alexandria. she assists him in all his writing. lee will look at the backdrop to
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the meetings in 1967 the states for the gathering of these young conservatives who came together in september of that year. our second speaker is jim kolbe, but who was one of the participants at the sharon copra's pretty currently serves as the senior trans-atlantic fellow for the german marshall fund of the united states. he is probably best known for his 22 years of distinguished service as a member of the united states house of representatives representing a district in southern arizona centered around the city of tucson. he served proudly in the house from 1985-2007 with 20 of those years on the appropriations committee. he also serves as an adjunct professor in the college of business at the university of arizona.
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he is a strategic consultant strategicmcclarty associates. he will take a look at some remnant says of what happened on that weekend of september 9- eleven in sharon, conn.. our third speaker is al rignory, best known as the publisher of the american spectator and a former president and publisher r andignory publishing company which produce 22 new york times bestsellers during his tenure he. he served in the justice department during them reagan administration. he was a yaf chapter director before entering military service for it is currently the chairman of the intercollegiate studies institute and his first book, " upstream," was published in 2008.
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i believe that was with basic bookstacks simon and schuster. and is available for purchase now. al will be speaking of the impact of the sharon conference through the 1960's and 1970's and then i will conclude with a few remarks about just who were these people, these 96 young conservatives who came together in sharon, conn. and what became of them and what marks have they met on american society and a conservative and libertarian movement in the united states. without further ado, let me turn the program over to lee for edwards. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, wayne, and good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.
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the mid-1950's seemed to be a time of political eclipse for conservatives. senator robert taft was dead of cancer and senator joseph mccarthy, after his senate censure was as good as dead. president eisenhower was offering a dime store in new deal while secretary of state john foster dulles was accused of practicing chickenship rather than brinksmanship that our foreign policy. when hungarian freedom fighters rose up in october, 1956 with the encouragement of the u.s.- backed radio free europe and soviet forces that invaded brutally crushing the honduran revolution, the eisenhower administration declined to help. the gop rested in the hands of eastern liberal republicans who tried to remove vice-president
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richard nixon from the 1956 ticket because he was not a creature of their making. he had written to fame as the man who had sent shelter has to jail. in the fall of 1955, conservatives could claim only a few publications. human events being the most prominent. there were even fewer organizations. organizations, then the eucharist, the intercollegiate society of individualists, isi been an exception. newspaper columnist lake geoe sapolsky and john chamberlain and popular radio broadcasters like fulton lewis journal plied their trade, but liberals undercut arafat admits by describing them as part of the militant right-wing. how little has changed.
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cbs mike wallace invited tv viewers one evening to listen to fault lewis explained the attraction the far right has for crackpot fascist groups in america. but better times were coming. of course, articulate critics of the left was making itself heard. one was russell curt, a deceptively soft-spoken academic whose vote come of the conservative mind exploded on the american team in the spring of 1953. it was a 450 page overview of conservative thinking over the past 170 years and a scathing indictment of every liberal nostra prehuman perfectibility to economic egalitarianism. but the first 50 reviews, 47 were favorable, including inco beyond in "the new york times" and "time" magazine, which devoted its entire book section
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to the conservate mind. with one book, russell curt big conservatism intellectually expectable and gave the conservative movement its name. conservatives begin to get organized. one of the first groups with the committee of 1 million against the admission of communist china to the united nations, chaired by dr. walter judd, which operated as a forgettable anti-communist forest for the next two decades. conservatives of both parties launched a new organization for america, chaired by clarence mania come up for a team of notre dame mocow. its purpose was to serve as a conservative counterpart to the liberal ericans for democratic action and encourage a alignment of parties with conservatives making up one party and liberals the other. but by and large, the right lacked focus.
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conservaves that areas, william f. buckley wrote, were uncoordinated and inconclusive. because the philosophy of freedom was not the next systematically in the university and the media. buckley decided a new journal was needed to come back to liberals, compensate for weakness in the academy enforce the energies of the emerging conservative movement. enter national review and its editor. a 30-year-old six-foot tall unspun tali with a flashing smile, bright blue eyes and a half british have southern drawl . buckley and his colleagues described it as a synthesis of the libertarian in anti-communist wing of american
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conservatism. they attack e u.n. and the social impulses of both parties in our first issue, buckley heard conservatives let us that all americans in a liberal world and therefore we conservatives were out of place, no matter. national review of ford's historylinks.. confident that a vigorous and incorruptible journal of conservative opinion could make a critical difference in the realms of ideas and politics. at the same time, the emergence of senator barry goldwater of izona started conservative hearts beating faster. was it possible they asked themselves. could it be? was america ready for an unabashed conservative in the white house? goldwater was a man of plan
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taste, a cheeseburger supreme with a slice of raw onion and a chocolate shake for lunch in the sun in office. he was a man of old-fashioned viues, petrie to some, hard work, faith in god. although a college dropout, he devoured history books about arizona and the west and the fred hijacks the road to serfdom. he was quickwitted, self-deprecating, once asked how he would respond to a soviet nuclear attack. he said the first thing he would do is to circle the wagons. he never smoked a cigarette or drink a p of coffee, but kept a bottle of old crow and the refrigerator of his senat office for after 5:15. she became the conservative leader when he collaborated with l. brent bozell, a senior editor of naional review and one of his speechwriters to write a little book called the
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conscience of a conservative. published in the spring of 1960, it eventually sold more than 3 million copies, making it one of the most widely read logical manifestoes of the modern era, comparable in many ways to thomas paine's common sense. all the ingredients of national political movement were coming together, a charismatic political leader and barry goldwater, widely known popularizers coming young and old led by bill buckley, thinkers like a hijack, russell curt, richard weaver, milton friedman, all in their intellectual prime and two influential journals of opinion, fashion revi in human events. movement leaders decided that next on the agenda was an organization of energetic young activists who would serve as the ground troops of conservatives. d so, in the fall of 1960,
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some 90 young conservatives founded young americans for freedom with a little help from older americans for freedom like l. buckley and that perilous, fearless conservative and presario, marvin lehman. beginning in fact playing the student committee created by david frank e. and f. kennedy in 1958, when both were college students in washington d.c., doug at georgetown, david george washington. nothe national defense education act contained a provision that a student had to sign an affidavit saying he was not a member of any subversive organization and was loyal to the u.s. government from him she was seeking a grant for his higher education. this reasonable stipulations did not fit very well with the american civil liberties union
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and similar groups. and the campaign was launched among left liberal students to eliminate the provision. "the new york times" of other established publications took up the cry in the name of free speech and civil liberties. undaunted, caddy and frankie organized a student committee, established chapters, elected officials come and testify before congressional committees, wrote articles, distributed literature answer to conservatives. it was the first major manifestation of what the always perceptive unstinting evidence described as a conservative revoked on the campus. the success of the student committee and particularly of goldwater's conscience of a conservati and bolder than conservatives to take action on behalf of goldwater at the 1960
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republican national convention in chicago. now nixon was the a twist amongst republicans, but not of most conservatives, a critical distinction. in april, the midwesterner republicans endorse goldwater fopresident and by may, a use for goldwater vice president was organized by doug caddy and marvin lehman. was chaired by robert crowe of northwestern unversity. and in june, and americans for goldwater was formed, headed by dean clarence manion. at the convention in chicago, some gop conservatives, the young ones, conceited, yes, nixon had it in the presidential nomination, but ey still pushed hard for goldwater for vice president. and now the story becomes a little more complicated when walter judd delivered an old-fashioned stemwinder of the keynote address, send me an
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evidence encouraged by marvin lehman organized a last-minute judd for vice president effort. l-lima maitre commented iwas the only time in american politics that two vice presidential candidates had been financedy one credit card. [laughter] his. well, in the end, nixon was nominated and selected henry cabot lodge the u.s. ambassador to the united tions as his running mate. but goldwater, old water captured the hearts of conservatives coming on an old, with remarks he made of the delegates before withdrawing his name for consideration as president quotes, we have lost election after election in this country the last several years, he said. because conservative republicans get mad and stay home.
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now, i am for you. forget it, we've had a chance and i think conservatives have made a splendid showing at this convention. we've had her chance. we fight our btle. now let's put our shoulders to the wheel f nixon and push him across the line. and then, goldwater uttered this dream and we need challenge. this country is too important for anybody's feelings. this country and his majesty is too great for any man. be conservative or liberal to stay home and not work just because he doesn't agree. belasco of conservatives who want to take this party back and i think we can someday. let's get to work. well, within days of the chicago convention, youth organizers of the goldwater and judd drops, plus leaders of the midwest young republicans formed an interim committee for a national
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can server did youth organization. and on august 16, they issued a call to 120 outstanding young leaders across the nation to meet at graydon, the buckley family estate in connecticut. the primary organizers are old friends doug caddy and david frank e. did not temper their words. they wrote, america stands at the crossroads today. will our nation continue to follow the path towards socialism or will we turn towards conservatives on and freedom. the final answer to us? with america's youth. will our youth be more conservative or more liral in future years? you can help determine the answer to this question. and then, echoing barry goldwater they said, now is the time for conservative used to
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take action, to make their full force and influence felt. and by action, we made political action. and so, during the weekend of september 9/11, 1960, under bright blue skies and a warm september sign, some 94 young conservatives came together to adopt a statement of principles, launch a national, political ornization and begin making history. [applause] >> thank you, lee. you've really set the tone extraordinarily well they are an msa you don't look like you've changed at al since we were together at the sharon conference.
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[applause] there is no doubt that i was the youngest person at the sharon conference. i was listed as being from northwestern university, but i hadn't even got to northwestern yet. i just graduated from high school. the reason i was there was because they graduated from the capital paid school and i was barry goldwater's page. ironically, it was a matter of fact this weekend is the 50th reunion of my class, which is why i'm not going to be with you for the rest of the committees because we have our reception tonight and our dinner tomorrow. so the page school is having its own 50th reunion at the same time that the sharon conference is being remembered 50 years later. what they got together extraordinarily well. and so there i was asked the person who knew. goldwater, had worked with barry goldwater and thought that it would be an appropriate thing for me to be involved with this. the first thing was that i left
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school here, left the page program and went directly to chicago f the republican national convention. well, you can imagine as an 18-year-old with a heavy experience this was for me. i was there and i was put in charge because i knew i was kind of the person who was supposed to make sure that barry goldwater got from one meeting to the next and we were setting him up with all the various state delegations to talk to them. and they were intensely inrested. i was a member that. they knew they were going to be able to support them for vice prsident. there were intensely interested in what he had to say. barry goldwater come as you will remember, with an individual who we all know stood with such incredible -- for such incredible principles and the such a principled person himself. barry goldwater had exploded on the national scene because he beat the majority leader of the united states senate in 1952. in six years later, he was the number one target of labor
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unions in the united states to be defeated. and it looked like he was probably going to go down, except that arizona and the people in arizona burros behind him because of the print and it looked like he was probably going to go down, except that arizona and the people in arizona burros behind him because of the print by, a comfortable enough margin that he could really that and so then conscience of a conservative, which really exploded a result of the other tngs that were out there talking goldwater brought the political principles. and that of course is what made.
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goldwater such an incredibly job at the he go from one place i always remembered he would be stalked by a student. he was usually young person who would stop and of a conservative in what he goldwater always wanted to stop and talk to job is to tug on his sleeve as a senator we really need to get going. were already 30 minutes late to the next meeting here and to carry them at the convention which i can statute of limitations for having expired i can probably safely was in charge of forging the needed our young people on the.
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and so each night i would and we had a printer wind up we rushed him up is easier to fore the credentials. we rushed them to the printer and he would forg them for us. on the day of the nominations we had hundreds of these things made up another one of her students was on crouched in the aisles of the moment his name was put in the nomination they've never did quite find out what it really sitting there our young people here it was a great moment and certainly after the course into the veins of the
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young people the idea was you can't let this moment go. we have to do something. so the idea of turning this into into a permanent organization was we held a meeting on
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also was active at northwestern. we were to of the five people that represented northwtern that meeting in sharon, connecticut. was really an extraordinary event. you can imagine for people love that young age to be called, if he will, to the home of what seemed like a god, the do rule of the conservative movement of william f. buckley and to be allowed to be there in step up and listen to people like william f. buckley and others talk to us was an extraordinary
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event. this is not just a gab session. everybody came with the idea this was going to be a working meeting and we had two objectives in mind at tht meeting that had been set out at the chicago meeting that we said we wanted to do. we wanted to have a statement of principles people could adhere to. and then w want a political organization to have the intellectual elements of the conservative movement already in place, and we are beginning to have their influence feltthrough such things as the magazines like "national review," through organizations like the isi. but was felt there needed to be a political arm, one that could transform this into political action, so we wanted a statement of principles on the one hand that could be called to arms for young people around the country and then we wanted to form some kind of a political organization that they could use this to
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translate, to turn these ideas come this intellectual force in the practical, and practicality in elections and the political scene. and that of course is what the chariton conference was all about. i remember this being certainly one of the most amazing weekends of my life in the sense of the intellectual challenge of having these discussions with people whowere either my peers are actually older than i was and being so excited to be with all of these people coming and the idea we were actually forming something that we knew was real and that it was going to have -- that they could have, and if history has shown it did have a significant influence on the conservative movement as it developed after that. we formed committees early on the first day. one committee to help decide what we were going to name it. a second how we were going to
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organize what kind of organization we wanted and another kennedy of course to draft the statement. now the sharon statement had been pretty much drafted by te time that we got there but ther were some really very fierce discussions when we would get into our plenary session. you have to remember most of these young people at college republican experience and a young republican experience where you learn parliamentary procedure and how to bollix up a meeting with parliamentary procedure. i can see some of this audience know weeks ackley we are talking about here. and we do -- knew exactly, people new x ackley how to make sure the meeting either didn't go well or did go well and i remember carol olsen was originally presiding over it and finally just out of frustration turned over to the parliamentarian which i forget was -- bill madden, turned it over and sit here, you take it fr here on and she stepped down at that point.
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but it was an extraordinary -- we had fierce debates about the sharon statement. should it directly use the word go and god church in principles or shod remain basically a secular statement that control in the libertarians and other conservatives who are not of a particular faith? and it also -- how far should it go in its anti-communist statements? there were a number of key dates that took place over the statements. but just reading preparation for the remarks today. i'm really astonisd by it. it really stands the test of time. now i'm not calling to be so bold as to sit here today, stand here today and tell you this is like the declaration of independence of the constitution of the united states. but it really does stand the test of time. and if you read this and steal those principles while circumstans have changed, communist empire -- soviet
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empire may not be there today but it has stood the test of time on the basic principles are ones that lly young the conservatives acrosshe country. and such factors were cited, we would form chapters and colleges across the country. but of course, we needed to have some kind of a national organization and a place, head if he will command that is were the irrepressibly described, irreplaceable margaret lehman was such a critical nature with his own organization in the walk-in new york offering office space for our first executive director of allowing him to have space to really begin to put this thing together and also to buy the funding of until we began to reach out on our own. so the sharon conference was one of those moments where negative came together that were in the process of formation of were
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going -- people who were -- had the intellectual capacity but also wanted to have the political wherewithal, the militant arm if you will publicly in order to accomplish what we wanted to set out to do. so in looking back on it, if i were to say what were the key people and key things that made this happen certainly it could not haveeen first and foremost without barry goldwater. he was the impetus for this and it was his idea that brought all this together. but barry goldwater could not have been there as he frankly acknowledged for many times without the likes of people like william f. buckley and the intellectual capacity of him. it couldn't have happened without more than lehman who did provide the organization and the structure, and if you will, the
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older more wise person to help guide us through the first few months and the first couple of years. theyould not have happened without the likes of people like doug caee and stan evans who drafted the sharon statement and people like david frankie. so it was te dirt best times if you will. was onof those moments ithink l of us in our lives that were there will remember as a very special moment where history was being made and history was made and i think toda it has still has its effect on the political system in the united states. so i look forward to the opportunity to listen to some of the others and have this discussion continued here today. thank you. [applause] >> thank you in very much, both
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lee and jim. that is a wonderful setting of the stage of what is going to come after sharon. let me just reiterate a couple of things that may not have ben mentioned or that i wantto emphasize a little bit before i go on as to what happened afterward. first of all, of course, the conscious of the conservative, just months before the sharon statement was drafted. and by the time sharon can along it had been distributed o probably a couple of hundred thousand people. i know tat by november, there were 500,000 copies in print. so, the ideas that were oing to be in the sharon statement were pretty well discussed and were certainly in and the general conversation of conservatives. and as lee mentioned, until 1960 there was no convergence of intellectual conservatism nd
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political operation. there had been political things out of course and barry goldwater and various others, but there really was a totally separate thing from the intellectual site that was going on. as lee mentioned russell kirk's but had been published in 53 and a good many books. bill buckley's, whitaker chambers and others, but they were very much isolated in the intellecal side and each one talked about a particular part of the conservative movement. bulkeley's book was an education. russell kirk's book was about tradition, whiker chambers book was of communism, and none of them had really trie to merge it together, the conscience of the conservative really for the first time but was quick to be known as fusion as sombegan to happen. the was that the three various strands of the conservative movement were drawn together as one of movement. and actually until 68 or so
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there really wasn't much discussion of the movement per say. was a number of different things and people -- economists for example but a criticize the anti-communist because they said they are spending too much money on defense. that is taking things away from the economy. it's detrimental to the united states. and that sort of thing. so f the first time with the conscious of the conservative you have a unified sttement. well, the sharon statement had pretty much the same principles outlined in it but in a very much -- and many fwer words than the conscious of the conservative. it was, as jim pointed out, written by stan evans and a good many others, many of whom have had some part to play in the summer of 1960. another quote that goldwater made that he didn't mention in
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the 1960 convention -- and i guess that was -- i don't know if it was to the convention floor itself for the group of students trying to get him to run -- but he said this colin quote turn your group and to a permanent organization of young conservatives. the man is not important, the principles you espouse or. do this and i will support you in any way i can read that was really the call to action, and they took that of course to heart, and when they went to sharon. also of course remember that the people were trying to nominate a goldwater in 1960 were amateurs. they didn't have a political organization, a political operation. many of them had been perhaps involved in a campaign here or there before, but they didn't have the expertise, the knowledge, the people leader had. all of that was going to be changed with what happened at sharon. so let me go through and talk about some of the implications of sharon. i could go on for hours obviously and talk about all the things that young americans for
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freedom were going to o. i won't do that. i just want to talk but the broad principles that came about because of sharon and some of the implications of a hat, and i shore in the discussion we are going to have afterwards, many of them who were there are going to bring up those things that happen in a subsequent decades. first of all, there was an immediate induction of the young people into plitics. real politics. the first thing that happened after it was formed in september was the question whether or not to endorse nixon for president. he decided not to. and that was then a sort of an rd for the young conservatives to do because the cattle been involved ithe young republicans before and the republican party even as goldwater said at the convention, traditionally supported where it was nominated. ll, he decided that if they become a young the organization really wouldn't do much for nixon. and but if they did it might
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damage the position that they were trying to put themselves and apart from the republican party. huge implications. lee, you touched on them a little bit, but the conservative movement of cose has always been separate from the republican party which is one of its strengths. and i think in that particular activity that setthe stage for what was going to happen later. the conservative movement forever would be out a bit of odds with the republican party. they thought of themselves may be as the heart and soul of he republican party. their job was much different, and as the younger twentysomething people began to realize that as they were going through the fall not campaigning for nixon it educated them on what was to come and what they would do subsequently. the house i say, it had a huge implication sitting the conservati movement apart as a intellectual and philosophical organization, not simply as another are of the republican party that would elect anybody
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that can along. -- came along. secondly, every quickly, conservatives learned leftist tactics. in january, 1961, there was a major controversy as to whether or not the house and american activities committee should be refunded. and the left had put together demonstrations in front of the white house to protest the act being refunded. a group of young people from young americans forfreedom got together and had a counter protest in front of the white house and the actually got mor press than the left did. it was actually national the covered -- national recovered. in the process, they realized that there were the left had which they could use to their advantage. they realized how you could get a relatively small number of people together and get major national press and have huge
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implications, and as a matter of fact, the act was refunded by an overwhelming vote, probably at least partially because of what young americans for freedom did. and as one commentator put it at the time he said the use of politicalpropaganda passed from the use of the left to the use of the right. they learned how to run an organization, how to organize and make things happen. right away, after sharon in office was set up. they started raising money, they learned parliamentary procedure. of course as jam mentied many of them knew it from the young republicans. they selected a board of directors and that for this report. there were lots of internal politics of course and those continued on at the meeting is forever. and one of the things they learned was either how to avoid those or how to win your battles, things extremely important for many of the things that went on after that.
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they recruited 25,000 members within a number of months. obviously, simply the mechanics of organizing that and keeping track of them was substantial. they organized about 100 chapters across the country within six or eight months. again, staying in touch with them all the other things y have to to keep them going was a huge undertaki. and of course, all of this was done by young people who were not getting paid very much, who were running the organizion most of them or not any older than the people, the college kids that they were attracting, and as somebody said they really weren't -- they were the ones that put it together. in other words, there were no older people running the thing. they were the young people who had been at sharon. in each one of these things they learned what they were doing. they learned how to put on a
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rally. in the spring of 1962, feb i guess it was, they put on a rally at madison square garden -- yet americans for freedom did. thank you, lee to 18,000 people were there. they packed the place. they had john tower's book, barry goldwater spoke, bill buckley of course. lots of others. it made above the fold on "the new york times" and people were astounded this many conservatives even existed, they would come to new york city. and again, it was put on by these young students who had come in the process, learn how to do something like that, and they learned what the implications work of putting on such a rally that would -- could have the dramatic impact that it did they began to educate thousands of students in the conservative principles. these obviously were not principles being taught on american college campuses in those days. yaf started having lectors, they had debates, they circulated
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films, they had all sorts of other things to go on. e distributed books, published the new guard that went to students, other things and all of that served to educate not only the 25 bills and students who were yaf members but for every one of those there were probably ten others the were touched by what they did. i remember my own case and start a chapter in 192i think what i was in college we would have monthly meetings where we would attract hundreds of people and bring speaker's room and so on and was the first time most of those people heard this stuff that they had been indoctrinated by the left-wing college professors and suddenly there were students who were bright, attractive, who could make the case, and it was a revelation. they were also, themselves, they became extremely well schooled in a conservative fund. the things distributed in the debas and so on the yaf
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students become the best debaters. most of you probably read rick perlstein's book. he is a lefty and he didn't like it but it's a pretty good book. it is well reported. one of the things he said and i quote, yaf read twice as much as anyone else. the enemy ideas and their own delighting and dngling arguments and slaughtering them in debate. ase ck of buckley's nw tormented social scientists and colleges large and small. [laughter] [applause] these young yafers learned how to take on powerful interest. the firestone compa for example planned to build a plant to make tires and romania, communist romania. yaf felt a was a bad idea and started having demonstrations. they picketed firestone, they actually had pickets in the indianapolis 500 firestone is
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actually pulled back and they didn't build the plant. they had similar things they did with ibm, selling computers to soviet union. there were confrontations with pepsi-cola and a number of other companies and sometimes yaf one and sometimes they didn't. they got national attention in the process and a recognized probably more than anything else that you could take on the powerful interests and sometimes you could win. they confronted the left on the campus. again, a tremendously important thing. professors tha were teaching, the students were not used to being confronted. the of the place all to themselves. surely there were some isi students but there were more cerebral and from time to tme probably russell kirk would come along or someone like that and give a talk. but yaf actually had debates, confrontations, they would set up things and even in the classrooms to challenge what the left had to say on the campus. it had a tremendous impact. it made the 90% of the students
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who really were not publicly affiliate of realize that there was another cause, another point of view, and i sure many of them became affiliated with that. and it certainly set the universities and the professors on age. there is a quote that i found fr bill buckley he said even now the world continues to go left. but all over the land dumfounded professors are remarking the extraordinary revival of the hard conservative sentiments in the student bodies. it was an extraordinary thing. infil long term i think as you look at it broadly, yaf had a great impact simply on the people that it had attracted. it was a breeding ground for future conservative leaders. congssman, judges, lawyers, activists, writers, all sorts of other people. it bred conservative cadres that span across the country. the cause of the professional
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lives. these students who undertook these things aside from the politics simply learned how to do all these things, they learned that they could be done and as i guess he's been to tell us where some of those people went, where they wound up is extraordinary. at that time, as i recall, we didn't think it was particularly extraordinary. we were fighting these battles and we lost as pbably good many more than we won. i think it was richard that told me one day for him was like going to work every day and you didn't really thi you were having broad impact on what was going on. but we did, if you look back on it, we had huge impact. another thing, by the way, speaking of richard i have to mention that yafers really invented direct mail fund-raising. richard did it, but it was for yaf. until then it was a fledgling operation where things were kept on three by five cards and things are being mailed and eventually of course as it went
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along as yaf realized the need to make money for lots of people, taking what barry goldwater in '64 and expanded on that, there is one by the way, at one point i -- a fact i like to recount. people forget about and the vast impact it had bringing all of these donors into the movement is in 1960 when nixon ran for president he had 12,000 donors. 1964 when goldwater and he had over 1 million donors and that transformed the republican party. it meant that for the first time, the bankers of new york we not funding everything. but people were and it totally changed things. but i think even yaf had something to do with that. by the way, the have learned to do that, and of course it transcended to the cold water campaign. -- goldwater campaign. many cut their teeth on yaf. again as swain will tell us,
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that's probably the thing that made as much difference as the politics. the people that had produced went on to do all the things the conservative movement has been giving the last 50 years which had become such a great part of american society so let me stop there and turned over to wayne. [applause] >> well, i have to apologies to make. first of all, there are too many distinguished individuals in the audience that probably should have introduced and recognized but i am not going to because that would take up the remainder of this kind. but we are so pleased there's a number of formal congressmen in the audience that we appreciate all the efforts that they have done over the years. in the number of former national chairman of the organization, national directors and many others so, when we break i hope you all will have an opportunity with the name tags to visit and get
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to thank those who have come before you or who have worked with you over the years. second, i try to do due diligence putting together my book but somehow i must admit it was only today that i found out that jim kolbe is the person that fortune of those credentials. [laughter] so that did not get mentioned in the book. i just want to take a couple minutes to talk about who were these people, 94, 96, individuals who came to sharon to form an organization? but before i tlk about those individuals, i have to say there were some senior conservatives there. and i think it is a commentary on what was the conservative movement as of 1960. they were referred to as senior conservatives. those who serve as mentors for the young people who work meaning to found in new organization. but what is fascinating in a
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commentary on the consvative movement at the time is that five of the senior conservatives, quote on quote, were all in their thirties. frank was 34, bill buckley at his home of course the meetings were being held, had reached the ripe age of 35. vic mali own, head of the intercollegiate society of individualists, as it was then called, was 36. and both bill rusher and more than a policeman or the old men in the organization of referred to as oafs, old americans for freedom. i must confess that this point is hard to remember when i was in my thirties and yet these were the ol men of the conservative movement of 1960. the only one who was an exception was to charles edison the former new jersey governor who served as secretary of the
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navy under franklin delauro roosevelt, and was true of the senior citizen and a mentor to the organization. but even though these so-called senior conservatives were present, indeed give some remarks and some encouragement, the weekend was totally under the direction of the young conservatives all of whom were in their teens or early twenties or 20s. it would be a few years later of course wen jerry rubin would make his famous comment you shouldn't trust anyone over 30. but as early as 1960 these young conservatives were following the that soon to be predicted that vice. historian matthew stressed this point in his commentary on the meetings. as he said, it was the young man who made the decisions and shaped the group. the meeting at bulkeley's tallman sharon, conn illustrates
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the point. although buckley, leedman and several over 30 attended the conference at buckley's tom, the on the conservative leaders for the mission statement, took care of the logistics. now most of these young people attending the gathering could be described as depression babies. having been born before the attacks on pearl harbor that brought the united states into world war then under way. a few of the yonder participants were at world war ii babies but mainly decisions on creating the new organization were being made by those born in the 1930's. not counting the senior conservatives that we have mentioned, 96 or perhaps 94 young people gathered to decide on building a new organization. of the 78 currently college
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students. undergraduate, graduate or law school students. and the remaing 18 listed no affiliation with an academic institution. nearly all of those, however, having previously graduated from college. and i think this is an important point because at a time in 1960 when the vast majority of high school students were not yet enrolling in college, or at least an four year colleges, this was a relatively elite group. the 25% of those students were from the y league colleges, with jeal providing eight undergraduate all students. another 25% attended what could be labeled as private selective enrollment institutions with northwestern most prominent with as jim mentioned five attendees. about 20% came from major state universities, and about 25%
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attended religiously affiliated colleges, predominantly roman catholic. and finally, there were four students from other government oriented colleges including two from hunter college. now, the 1without a college affiliation listed some or recent graduates like carol paulson and doug whereas others like the edwards and stan evans had begun their successful careers. these young graduates were already suming key positions in the nation's conservative movement of the early 1960's. a small number of the participants were the offspring of prominent conservatives. campaign, evans, mcintyre, risk and common name is recognized to the few americans following the conservative politics at the time. but most of them came from either a political families or
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those whose politics was not a prominent part of their identification. indeed many of those present were in fact rebels with a cause. the name of course of stan evans book. as polshek men, the first national chairman of the organization who came to an untimely death in his early 20s, mid-20s, soon to be chosen as the national chairman descbed the situation my parents thought franklin and eleanor roosevelt was one of the greatest heroes who ever lived. rebeling from that concept. s and most political gatherings of the time mails predominated, but the ratio wasn't quite as overwhelming as one might expect. there were 16 females and 80 males among the attendees. this group of less than 100 young men and women produced the outstanding leaders of the
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conservative movement that took hold and become dominant in american society during the last years of 20th century. consider just a few and that is all we have time for. of those who attended the sharon conference and what they have complished. lee edwards as we have already seen the author of more than 20 books and a distinguished fellow of the conservative thought at the heritage institution -- foundation. you can tell i don't live here in d.c. because i get these names mixed up. james kolbe, a member of congress and there is on a 22 years, the only republican electe to congress om southern arizona. michael ulin, visiting professor at claremont university in claremont college. john, ph.d. from the university chicago who held numerous positions in the nixon, reagan and both bush administrations and is now a senior fellow at the hudson institute. howard phillips, founder of the
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conservative caucus and three times was a candidate for president of what is now known as the constitution party. carol aulson, former -- served ni years as the consumer product safety commission. irv kallur, chairman of the lord for the kohler industries. thomas riley chairman of the board for the riley industries and now a trustee at indiana university. bruce, longtime vice president of the international truck and engine corporation. then there were the future journalists such as ross mackenzie the editorial page editoror many years of he richmond times dispatch. stan evans, editor of the indianapolis news. bill, editor at the "reader's digest" for many years. johnkolbe, brother of james, political columnist for the phoenix gazette and the arizona republic. ken thompson, editorial page editor for thdallas morning news. jane campion, former newspaper
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and now president of jeson books. david frank d. kolevar of ten books. doug thank you cady, author. alan bruseghin, editor-at-large at the human eves and i have left out so many others like couldn't mention. the point should be clear these are outstanding leaders to contribute much to the making of the united states as a more responsible and conservative nation. that eventful gathering 50 years ago not only created a new organization and adopted, would become the most concise and implicit statement of conservative principles, but it also produced a wealth of individuals who would provide leadership of the conservative movement over the remainder of the 20th century and up to the present. in this sense the conference can be seen as one of the pivot points in the political history of the united states.
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thank you. [applause] i think we have to individuals who have microphones in the audience if individuals have some questions for any of the panelists this would be the appropriate time. or comment. markowitz rhodes. >> question forthwith lee edwards. >> so everyone knows the was your name. >> former illinois state senator and you mentioned for america which i believe you said was headed by walter judd, is that correct? >> it was headed by dean clarence mannion. >> you didn't mention another runner, the students for america headed up by bob munger ad
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since jim kolbe opened the door to the professions, i was told the newspapers in california accused students of america as being secretly funded by the vigilant when and for the amendment, and i am here to tell you is true. it was al's neighbor who came up with some of the money at the suggestion of none otr than the good witch of the north from the wizard of oz so let's remember billy and the pantheon of heroes ends. [laughter] [applause] >> thank you. any other comments, recollections, questions? yes, ron. >> ron robinson. i want to ask a question of all panelists that ties in both to sharon and his subsequent nsequences. and today most organizations if you decide to join you just joined or send a small donation or something and you are off and running but young americans for
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freedom made it a requirement to have to agree with the sharon statement before you could become a member and there's a lot about the sharon statement that has already been touched on but no one has touched on the implications f that. based on your own experience as yaf leaders in the early days were the days that your yaf leaders, what strengths or weaknesses did you find in making people agree with your statement or principles before they could even become a member? >> why don't we start with lee? >> this is an application of what we call space centralism. some in the audience will recognize that phrase. i think the in the beginning af wanted to make sure that anybody who came in was responsible, respectable, and so i think that's one of the reasons why
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the lead that down. you have to remember 1960 the john birch society was very, very powerful, and we did not want to be linked with them or tart with that particular brush. i don't recall the date about that particular provision, ron. i think maybe the libertarian sense might have caused me maybe to vote against that. but i don't recall. >>ike lee, i have completely forgotten about that until it's just been raised here now but i think from both sides the genesis of that was from both sides of the concern about the john birch societ over one side and the idea that a very liberal or leftist student groups might infiltrate from the other side so it is ueful to read tat statement and say you agree with it and the principals in them. that is one of the reasons we
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did. and i never found it to be particularly onerous burden for people not to that long a statement, and you want if you are going to be a member of the organization you want them to read this and get excited about it, and adhere to it. so it was never a big problem. >> actually, i don't remember at that was a requirement. l.i.e. worked in the national yaf office of 1965 for close to a year, and i have no collection. of course, we were getting often mailbags full of members every week, and we may have sent them a copy of this demand. the other thing i can remember is that when i was in college i had a letter from what seemed like a particularly bright stent the diversity of wisconsin, and so i went to see him and i signed him up for yaf and collected his $5 i think it was david keene and i have no
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recollection so. [laughter] the other thing i want to say -- [laughter] >> there's no implication in that statement. >> none whatsoever, no. [laughter] the other thing, just to correct one thing, in the early days there were a good many virtuous in yaf, and remember the real controversy with the burke society didn't really start until the middle 60's. when ronald reagan ran for governor in 1966, he was able to put them down. it was a big factor in the goldwater campaign 1964. goldwater was tarred with being affiliated with the burke society. didn't really handle it one way or the other. i think he just let it go over. but -- and linda buckley royte his peace? it was considerably later. >> 62. >> remember that was -- this w sassociated from robert welch.
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but in the early days yaf and the birch society did things together. they did on an international basis -- >> please don't say that publicly. [laughter] everything now aren't we? >> nope. >> question in the back, actually three or four of them. the gentleman closest to the middle i think had his hand upon first. >> thank you. mr. murdoch -- >> murdoch has never been a limit on anything. [laughter] >> i should go stand over there on the far right. a senior fellow at the atlas economic research foundation and syndicated columnist at scripps howard news service and wind folks on the right or the far right the case may be gathered with sometimes diffident to beat ourselves as either conservatives or libertarians, and i'm wondering if the sharon conference, did you see those divisions and were they very distinct? word de miners differences or
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serious camps in the conservative on real veus libertarian sector? >> i don't remember that those were distinct cas at the time, the conservative and libertarian ideas. i just don't remember them being a critical issue. no. my answer would be no. >> i have to say those differences came out in the discussion of whether or not the wordgod should be in e statement, the sharon statement, and also those who were arguing against this inclusion did not identify themselves s libertarian, we knew that they were in fact libertarian. and so here were some divisions. but i don't think -- i think probably for the greater good people were trying to keep those kind of distinction is under control. >> i guess maybe i didn't
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arculate very well but i agree there were those distinctions, those discussions but they didn't fall down. th didn't say here's the libertarian positn and the conservative religious position. those were not being used. >> and carol, you want to get to that. is that your recollection also? yeah? >> to some extent i can if there were objective this became an element in their early years in the early 60's of the organization which could be regarded as libertarian but a subset of the libertarian movement. and in many ways the quote on quote libertarian movement really didn't start to be felt until the latersixties. there's some of the discussion from dave mahlon, who was later one of the founders of the libertarian party talking about how he met other liertarians of the 19,607th yaf convention in pittsburgh and then of course in 1969 the organized themselves as
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a caucus within the organization. but it was -- it was really out of the 1969 convention that the so-called libertarian movement as they organized national movement really kind of started. apart from that subset of the followers who first of all view themselves as object of this rather than libertarians. >> let me add earlier than that the economists and people like that call themselves libertarian, not conservatives and the distinct differences with the russell kirk fraction and others. >> that was on the intellectual end of things. we have time for one or two more questions. there is a gentleman right there. >> chris bedford a pitcher of the new guard magazine. i'm curious and the sharon statement they say at present the single greatest threat is the force of international communism, and i am curious because at present with the
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dedication of the sharon statement that would one day change. today who do you think are the greatest threats to the liberties? is a domestic, is it islamofacism or totalitarianism in general? i would like to hear a comment. >> who wants to handle that? >> i think obama is. [applause] i would say all the threats you identified i think our major threats to the united states, but the one that concerns me the most about the future is our fiscal issues. that we are not able to get a handle on those. i think they are existential to the survival of th country, certainly to the survival of major influence of power in the world if we are not able get our hands on those we cannot be a great influence in the world. >> let me mention as editor of the new guard, which is kind of a renaissance under the leaders of young americans for freedom,
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recently dustin to publish your free issue this year; is that correct? right, and i commend you on that. there was one other gentleman right here. this gentleman standing up, and he will be the last one. >> this won't take long because it is quick historical notes. i am charles, but i was briefly this victory of yaf and i can ensure you when we inslee to our membership to several hundred they didn't all subscribe to the sharon statement or take an oath to subscribeo it. [laughter] the other historical note is that while it was by the 1962 rally, the 1961 yaf tught it was also a remarkable location. >> yes, the march of '61 was the manhattan center also featuring barry goldwater the great secret about the
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25,000 membershom yaf had in january or february, or two or three months after we first got started, just waiting breathlessly for that day when the actual membership did equl that figure. [laughter] it took awhile before we finally got here. >> just to reaffirm the point, there were never aything such as paper members othe organization. [laughter] >> have been accused of bias to my right, so is their someone over here that have -- it, or a question? we have time for one more. jameson candiai have to go with jameson. >> [inaudible] -- 60's and 70's not conservativ because a was a good career move. like the christians in the catacombs they were there for the right reasons and the conservatives from 1980 and on had a lot of problems with
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people who viewed conservative as a good career move and it's a difficult problem for peop running those organizations today. as you have got personal interests as opposed to merely serving principles. i think the the point is that it's very important to recognize probably maybe that it's unlikely that the reagan administration would be as successful as it had been without the 40-year-olds who were 20-year-olds in 1960 who were yaf members. >> that is a very valid point. >> jameson, someone once said there were no opportunists in the early movement because there were no opportunities. [laughter] [applause] >> i'd like that swer. >> any other commts from the panelists? >> plenty of political opportunities but not financial opportunities, that's for sure. >> and a lot as you mentioned change with the election of ronald reagan's 1980 in terms of
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oppounities to not only advance individuals, but to advance principles and carry out the changes that conservatives wanted in american society. thank you all very much. thank the three panelists here who have done a tremendous job. [applause] >> live coverage when the senate
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gavels inf add to 30 p.m. eastern -- dallas in at 2:30 p.m. eastern. domestic manufacturing and energy efficiency when the house dabbles in tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. eastern. -- gavels in tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. eastern. >> they think that many of these companies also make a lot of money by selling the data that is acquired through tracking. >> tonight, the head of the federal trade commission's consumer protection bureau on the privacy act. a look now at the future of the conservative movement. the young america's foundation hosted this look at the 2000 midterm elections and the impact
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of the tea party on the conservative movement. it is an hour in 40 minutes. >> let me take this opportunity to say if you would like more information on young america's foundation, you can go to their website and you will find information not only about all other programs, but also of their great storage of the reagan ranch in santa barbara, calif. -- stewardship
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of the reagan ranch in santa barbara, california. if you want to go to www.wt you can read more about us and about them. don divine will be chairing this session. he needs no introduction, but will get a very brief one. he served in the reagan administration as head of the office of personnel management. it he is the author of reagan's -- the author of a "rating's terrible swift sword." he is running programs around the country and it is the vice chairman of the american conservative union. if i leave you in the hands of don devine. thank you, don. [applause]
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>> thank you very much for that kind introduction. for those of you ... -- who do not know me, i will give you a bit of an introduction, too. my claim to fame is that i was ronald reagan's chief bureaucrat under the civil service. it really showed a sense of humor on his part putting a conservative like me in charge of bureaucracy. we have cut the number of employees by 100,000. if we have reduced benefits by $6 billion. we even put in work rules to make them work hard. it was a great experience.
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i turned, and am very proud of earnings come on -- by turns, and am very proud of earnings, the enmity of the washington establishment. i was there most of -- i was their most favored punching banks in which they called me regin's rasputin -- reagan's rasputin. they also called me reagan's terrible swift sword. me chevera's civil service. they called me a lot of things. and yaf -- i was a professor
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[inaudible] don is here. but she used to call me donald duckley, the poor man's bill buckley. [laughter] i saw tom houston out there. he used to call me the board's pain in the you-know-what. i kept asking questions, how much they were spending and looking through the books and he finally, when they were trying to put together i was like why don't we put this jerk on -- we can an office or make him treasurer and give him a lot to do and keep him busy, and it bacally worked. they were pretty smart political
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guys. from my great optimism, i was called frank myers dog of doom. but i was told by the organizers of the event that i had to speak positively and future oriented. so let me begin that. [laughter] obama, congress, republican party, consvative movement. well, forget about it. well, what i'm going to do instead is to introduce somebody who does it always has had an optimistic view of the world. he always figured he could find a way to do something. of course from my window view he was wong most time. but he had ideas constantly, and if it wasn't for this man, there
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would have beeno yaf, and in my opinionhere would have been no conseative movement. because she found out, i think al regnery mentioned it, how to support a political movement with average people. before this guy came along, every organization was supported by a handful of rich basically liberal progressives businessmen and a couple of conservatives but not many. richard made direct mail the engine that made the conservative movement and he has been at it ever since and keeps us going. riard? [applause]
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>> thank you, but a sound like you're talking about ronald reagan a lot more than me and people who made the conservative movement much of them perhaps a majority of them are in this room right here. the title of the panel is very appropriate. the future of freedom. if i were giving this speech 18 months ago, i couldn't give the speech, the talk i'm going to give you now. i'm not sure what i would have said about the future because for the 50 years or so that i've been involved in politics of the national level, people have asked me periodically is it too late, richard? can we turn thigs around? have we gone too far down the road for socialism? and i have always had the same answer. just one answer. we have one chance to save america and one chance only and that is if things get really bad, really quick guess what?
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we, are there. [laughter] and that's -- i never saw another way to turn everything around and go back to the vision of the founders. we slow things down, slow the rate of growth of government, but it was still growing under reagan, under the gingrich revolution but i didn't understand how to turn it around until in the last 18 months, barack obama showed up, simultaneously the tea party movement showed up and everything now is changed. we are going to talk gann about cognitive dissidence. the idea f holding two diametrically opposed idea in your head at the same time. on the one hand, barack obama, pelosi, reid, they are frightening us, making this very, very angry, and this is going to happen to come three, four times a day. [laughter]
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and then take, you know, 15, 30 max, 40 seconds, get on had become angry, throw something, whatever, you know, makes you feel better. 40 seconds max, then get down on your knees and say thank god obama is president of the united states because i do not know whether we to save america. we were lost. our country was when to lose its freedom. it might take 20, 30 years under the recent repulican leaders it seems like since reagan has been on a crusade to grow the size of government. we were going to lose our freedom. we might now lose our freedom and two, three, four years but we also have a chance to turn everything around. i've never saw how we could do that before. when howard phillips, myself and most of you here in this room or in first involved in the conservative movement and
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politics, the movement rested on a to leggitt school. national security which went into communism and economic issues. balanced budget, lower taxes, and, you know, that will get us and it did get us 40, 45, sometimes 47% of the vote. not very often did we get 51%, but then in the second half of th 70's, we added a third leg to the stool under the leadership of people like howard phillips and paul, jerry falwell and others, and that was the social issues. and now we have a three legged stool that we are sitting on and that is much more sturdy than a two-gged school. ..
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he used this in 1976 when he ran for president. he said, "we need new leadership, leadership unfettered by old ties and old relationships." the tea party relationship as we know, they are unfettered. the conservatives have made a lot of mistakes in the last 15 or more years. in my opinion, the number one mistake is that they became an appendage of the republican party, they became an arm of the republican party. the number one need we have going forward is for new leadership. i see that coming all over the place, of course, with these primary victories whether it is ron paul -- rand call in
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kentucky, recently in kentucky and alaska and colorado and many other examples out there. we will have a senate caucus that will go from two people, jim demand and tom coburn, of 28 and more. and thingsre going to be very, very different. i spoke to 150 or so tea party leaders in dallas earlier this year and i met with a dozen or so before he spoke in maybe 15 or so afterwards. and so is quizzing them, doing a little one-person focus group. and i asked them, when a chick involved in politics? would involve two years ago? 80% from 85% were not above two years ago. dallas, texas, was chairman back in the three 50's early 60's and the republicans and also chairman for john tower when he
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first ran for the senate in 1960. i said how many of you can tell me anything about john tower? what you know about john tower? other than any of four people had heard of john tower. the two-party people don't really know political history, but they get it right now. i was talkin about on of the major problems. this is something you're not aware that you need to be worried. you think about this. we've are a problem in this country because of the washington republican consultants. bill started laughing. they knew it, they got it. they knew their names and they knew these people were about the business of the indian governnt. and so these people are scary sophisticated. they get it right now. thank you what happens in this country. there was a lady there who had a baby tea party group in texas, about 3000 people from corpus christi. and she sat there when they have their meetings regularly,
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politicians would call and want to come to the meaning. can i come to many? to recover what should become. either way, we'll be glad to introduce you. but she don't speak to me listen to us. and that's the tea party movement. it's going to change our country come the ladies and gentlemen. and i am optimistic and await the that i've never been in life. i amo excited about the future. no guarantees come with a chance to turn everything around. republicans lost the congress in 2006, the white house in 2008 having literally in my opinion nothing to do with nancy pelosi, hillary, barack obama. had everything to do with republican leaders at the national level, many of the state level. but because of the tea party movement, because of the conservative movement, we are changing not. james carville amously said in 1992, it's the economy. he wanted to drive that home to
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democrats. you've deciphered before you get public. it's the economy, stupid. so i paraphrased that for the last 18 months. 150 party movemen pathetic, every type in a speech i would rate it would talk about conservatives. it's the primary, said 10. it is the primaries because i believe a wave of biblical proportions will sweep the democrat vote this fall. and if all it does is bring back republicans ike ones we've had in washington for the last 15 years, we will have wasted the opportunity of a lifetime. so i am exceedingly encouraged right now for -- we've made a great deal of progress. without the election to go and we don't want to get overconfident. we've got to bring home a lot of good people who have been nominated and hopefully will do even more of this in 2012. but if we have a good year in
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2010 and with a better year in 2012, we should not rest. that may be -- that may be the beginning, the end of the beginning. it's not the end. it may be the end of the beginning. you can suffer want to turn this country around, if we want to go back to the mission of our founders, we must remember our problem is not just liberals in washington d.c., liberals and state capitals. save the military, save for the military every major institution in america's leadership is arrayed against conservatives. higher education, lower education, hollywood on the big business, wall street, a nonprofit community, the unions, organized religion. it just goes on and on and on. every major institution in this country opposes their views and their values. so we have an enormous task ahead of us.
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and he can be done, but we should not be under any delusion that i we've got to do is nominate and elect a conservative president and congress in 2010 and 12 and their work is going to be mostly done. it will just maybe be the end of the beginning. the 2010 election, 2012 election, vitally important. there's no way anybody, any conservative wants to minimize those selections. but in some ways, at's not my number one challenge. our number one challenge is to change the culture in this country. because you cannot win politically. if you lose the culture, you must change the culture. and for the first time in my lifetime, i see a window, an opportunity to change the culture in america. we have this opportunity.
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it's available to us now and it probably will be here for some another year or two, maybe even longer. but if we don't take advantage of this opportunity now, we have no opportunity to look forward too political but recent years to come. so we as a white house chief of staff said, andcrises is a terrible thing to waste. i'll paphrase that enough they conservativ. and economic crises is a terrible thing to waste. we have a small window of opportunity to turn america back ango back in the vision towards the vision of our founders that's not waste this opportunity. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. it's my kind of optimism. he got to get really bad and then it will update the. fortunately, for those whoant this positive and
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forward-looking next guy certainly isn't going to let anybody down. he's the author of my favorite book called our country. it's very well worth the reading. he's the founder of almanac of american politics, probably the first book that kind of made sense of the whole picture, part by part. he is an executive editorial writer for the ashington engineer. he's a scholar at the american enterprise institute. he knows more about politics than anybody in the country and he's going to give us a view of what things look like in terms of electoral politics. michael burrow.
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[applause] >> well,hank you. thank you very much, don. i want to apologize if i'm not fully preped because they recently written the title of this as a tribute to saron. [laughter] and so i was sdying up on israel and the likud rdn cadena and so forth. and so i thought the sharon statement read a little oddity for an israeli statement. but we'll figure it out was happening. buthe previous speakers have set me straight on this. and so, i hav a better idea of what were talking about. when i was originally asked one of the things people said was what happened to the reagan and george w. bush -- would have been to the conservative majority of the past? and i think when this conference was originally proposed, it's
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conveners wereleft upto mistake about the assistance of the conservative majority and the future of the review speaker. richard says that things have to get very bad before they get better. i know if things get very bad, that's when you get the biggest take from direct mail, isn't that right, richard? [laughter] i'm not suggesting they're opportunists in this movement or anything, but -- [laughter] but there is a certain -- no, i think richard has got it -- it makes a very valid point here. and you know, i've been thinking about this and looking back on it. i've been co-authored this book, almanac for american politics now for 40 years. iealize it's unusual for a person to have begun writing a sort of guidebook to american politics at age four, but -- [laughter] that's the way it was done.
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and looking back, i came to differentiate, as i thought about it, and looked at from the political numbers between what i call. the open field politics and feel of a trench for politics. the transporter politics are we a stable lands. battles are flat along the same lines as they were the trench warfare of world war i time and again. issue focus stays the same. the various segments of the electorate tend to respond in the same way and so forth. in it. if open field politics, people are moving all over the battlefield or at politicians, voters, the old political alignments don't hold. the old political rules suddenly become inoperative. ron zebras wear it. the issue focus changes abruptly
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sometimes. i mean, you know, i remember during the 2008 campaign, you know, the question -- we had this question about oil drilling on the arctic national wildlife refuge and the response of the voters. he looked at polls for many years was we must not disturb the pristine environment. then we got it gas at $4 a gallon and suddenly the response of the voters was nuked the caribou. [laughter] and it was a fact i read in the anchorage daily news that their are 377,000 caribou in alaska. these are animals that had the vegetable pie roughage diet and four stomachs. and it is not immediately appear to me why maximizing the population of caribou works against global warming. it seems to me the possibility
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of the mission there would suggest sending the herd, rather than augmenting it. but in any case, issue concerns can change vastly. the past conservative alliance we've seen for kind of them. the trench warfare politics. we are now in a period of open field politics for ust about anything can have been and it seems more or less everything is happening. looking back on the reagan years, i believe we had a period of trench warfare politics 83 to 91. americans voted pretty consistently for america president and democratic members of congress. that may not of been the choice of people in this room, but you have that basic split ticket mentality among the majity of the american people. the republican presidential labor carrying -- they carry big
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margins in the suburban areas. reagan and bush 19881 ordway and even in metro, new york matchup philadelphia, metro detroit, metro chicago and so forth with the suburbs outvoted the central cities. it was primarily a coalition along economic lines. read my lips, no new taxes, but also had the cultural aspects. that period disappeared. good of open field politics in 1991. just about the time the political scientist told us that republicans have a lock on the presidency, democrats had a lock on congress and third-party candidates could never get anywhere. we as americans elected a democratic resident, a republican congress and we had to her party candidates for president again in public polls powell and ross perot is being made to 92.
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in effect rosborough even after exiting the race and getting back into the votes of 19% of our fellow citizens in november 1992 despite the fact that he was obviously clinically insane. [laughter] do with it. other people. then we get a period of static stable political alignments, trench warfare politics, 95 to 05. we've got the two parties, both the politicians and their voters are like two almost equal size armies in a culture where the fighting and not --itamin a-alpha very small very small bits of terrain that make the difference between victory and defeat. the outcome you know, broward county, florida and so forth in the year 2000. i mean, i could remember being outfoxed his headquarters on election day 2000 preparing for the election night broadcast and. we got the first trench of exit polls that had at about
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12:45 p.m. and i took a look at, you know, all the states they were seriously contested and they all seem to be exceedingly close. and i had just detoured, to which i will share only the first word with you which was a wage, this is going to be the longest elecon night ever. it turned out to be 36 days. we have five state congressional elections in that year for the republicans got slightly more votes in slightly more seats than the democrats. it was a period when the demographic variable most highly correlated with voting behavior was religion or degree of religiosity. there was a slight edge for the conservative fourth republican side although as richard points out it's not clear that t conflation of the conservative movement with supporters of the bush administration was the best possible for the integrity of conservatism. but in any case, that narrows it
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therese by and large for the republican side purchased at some considerable price in order to maintain the party unity. and then we've been in open field politics since 2005. and i think the falling away of a lot of voters from the republican side with the verdict that was more about confidence than about ideology. that was the view that many democratdisparaged a few years ago. i think it is now more easily supported in more readily accept it. i think we have bi democratic majorities. the oscillations were really large. and arack obama won 53% of the vote. that's actually better than any other democratic nominee in history except for andrew jackson, franklin roosevelt and linda johnson. democrats got 54% of the popular vo for house of representatives in 2008.
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that's better than they've one since 1986 on the south is voting democratic for house of representatives. they been better in the northern states, the non-southern states may have run since the 1930's with the exception of 1974. so i was a big oscillation towards the democrats and gave them the kind of super majorities and prompted the political philosopher james carville to predict that we were in for 40 yes of democratic are at this. now it seems that jam is off perhaps by about 38 and a half. [laughter] and we are seen in the public opinion polls and oscillations in the other direction. and i think what we're going to see is the emergence, at least momentarily, in 2010 of conservative majorities that wi look different from a conservative majority in the 1980's. when coming in though, who was suburban, northern china towards
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affluent. it will look somewhat different from the small republican majority 71985, 2005. , which showed that the democrats had gained a lot of ground in the suburbs as compared to the 1980's. their liberal stance on cultural issues. the republicans had made some offsetting gains in rural areas, both in the south and in the non-south. putting both parties equal. anyhow for the first time i listened the 1940's, maybe the 1950's, straight ticket voting and down the line in that period. now, what the public opinion polls are telling us is that the democrat are in more trouble than it's ever been, probably in my lifetime. one metric of that is a generic house ballot question which party's candidates are going to vote for in house of representatives. gallup has been asking this question. used to say it's been since 1950.
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now they have since 1942. i think someone with the archives to the dusty volumes and found out they beeasking the question basically the gallup and other posters have been getting results on the question, showing republicans currently had. i think it's 48, 41 at the real of recent polls. before last month, gallup and other pollsters have never shown the republicans ahead by as much as six-point in that survey. the generic à la question tends to underproduced republican form in actual elections. it did so in five of the last six election cycles. if you look at it now and it looks like republicans are in good shape to win 39 seats they need for house majority. they have within reach, although it will be hard o grasp a majority of the senate although as we know a majority in the senate doesn't give you control
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of the senate. and we've g candidates of the sort that richard mentioned, not only in the senate and house races. i've started feeling bad when i look at the poll results in the mornings for my democratic friends because i think a lot of them were the people they admire will be swept away if these numbers continue to be the case. and of course one of the big changes here and one of e things which i did not predict was the emergence of the inrush and political activity of hundreds of thousands of he really millions of people that symbolized by that are not limited to the tea party movement. and i second richard's description of these people. they don't want to be passed around. they don't want people treading on me as the old flag says. they have revised or brought into the political arena the language and thoughts of the founding fathers in a way that
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is seldom half inch. i think they're building on something that's important culturally. the fact that for the last 15 or so years with actually had a selling books by the founding fathers. many of the teachers at universities don't want to teach about the founding fathers. they'd rather talk about transgressive feminist summer something like this. i'm sure it's all very good scholarship but, you know. but ordinary americans reading public wants to read about these people, once read about their hair, once read about the ideas, was to read about the challenges they face and how they overcame them. and i think the tea party people are bringing that into the political arena. and the result is i think goin to be pretty clear, a big reversal from the date democratic victory of 2006 and 2008.
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perhaps one of the biggest reversals at the just the kind of partisan trend that we've seen in the last 60 years thomas of the year should following world war ii. barack obama in 2008 a mass what i call a top and bottom coalition. he carried people with incomes over 200,000 of people with incomes under 50,000, lost those in between. he carried wide margins among those with graduate school degrees and those with no high school education, which of course suggests republican policy responses to hurt everybody to high scho and apply the policy of capital punishment to the graduate schools in any case. [laughter] and ran on even between. what we've seen in the speial elections in what i think we see in the data of the polls is this, the bottom is dispirited, uninterested, not turning out to
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vote. we certainly saw that in the virginian recess. the democrat claim with their delivering the goods and shoveled money in the general direction of low-income people. those voters don't see it. they don't buy it. they're not interested. thenthusiasm they had in 2008 with half the village of the first black american president is just not there at least in 2010. the top -- part of the top is still very much on the democrat side. they turned out in cambridge at newton and brookline for martha coakley. she was the most attractive candidate. return to lexington to be conquered richer suburbs and test it thd scummy university teachers and even worse university administrators. i wrote a column the other day about the higher education bubble. and you know, i went to college t


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